Elmer Merrill Burkett died in his home on Aug. 15, 2015 in Columbus, Mont., following heart complications. He was 87.
Mr. Burkett was born on Feb. 2, 1928, in Newburg, Ore., to his parents Floyd and Mabel Burkett. He was one of nine children and graduated from Newburg High School. After graduation Elmer enlisted into the army where he served four years over in Germany. Elmer returned to Miles City, Mont., where he worked construction with his brother and his father.
Elmer then went back overseas to Germany where he served his second term, did a tour in Vietnam and was awarded with the Bronze Star. He went in as military police and retired as Sergeant 1st Class in 1972. While serving his country for the second time, he met the love of his life. Helene was working at the base cafeteria when her and Elmer met.
When Elmer was discharged from the military, they picked up their lives and moved back to the US. Elmer went to work for the postal service until retirement. They spent their days together in Napavine, Wash., until the passing of Helene in 1985. Elmer then moved to Columbus, Mont., to be closer to his son and daughter.
Elmer enjoyed wood working where he excelled in scroll saw. He did very fine and intricate detail and could model the most famous monuments around the world. He would spend hundreds of hours carving out a master piece, but his greatest thrill was not admiring his art himself, but giving it away to those he loved.
Elmer was an avid hunter and fisherman. He and his son made it a yearly tradition to go out searching for the “30 point buck.” He also enjoyed his daily trip to the local IGA to see “the girls.” If you wanted to see Elmer on a Monday, Thursday, or Friday, the only place you could find him was in front of the TV with the WWE blaring, LETS GET READY TO RUMBLE!!!
Elmer will be missed by everyone who ever had the privilege to meet him. He will be missed around the town of Columbus where you could always see him cruising the streets on his ranger. It has been very hard to say goodbye to such an ornery, blunt, hard headed, unfiltered, hard-working, caring, compassionate, giving, loving man, but it brings us such joy to know that he has gone to meet his maker and once again will be united with his wife. We will forever cherish all of the memories we have. ‘Fly High Old Man’
Elmer is preceded in death by his wife, Helene Burkett. Siblings Lester, Fred, Gordon, Alice, and Juanita.
Elmer is survived by siblings Ralph (Shirley) Bud (Velna) and Edith, all of Oregon.
Children Floyd Burkett of Red Lodge, Debbie McCord (Mitch) of Tennessee, and Dianne Geehan (Jeff) of Columbus. Grandchildren Leanna Ketchum (Cory) of Columbus, Teaya Jameson (Lance) of Arizona. Robbie McCord and Becky Knight of Tennessee. Michael, Thomas, and Rachael Geehan (Aaron) of Columbus. Numerous great grandchildren, nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.
Memorial Services will be held Thursday, Aug. 20, 2015, at 1 p.m. at Smith Funeral Chapel in Columbus.